Lorde to remain one of the queens of new pop
Published: Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 22:10
I wrote in my column last week that Lorde was a new artist, but was going to be big within a year. This week, as she releases her first full-length album “Pure Heroine,” she absolutely cements her status as one of the queens of new pop music.
You’ve probably heard “Royals” everywhere, it has been playing non-stop on the radio for weeks and for good reason. It’s catchy and funny, but also relatable. It highlights the decadence and excess of the upper classes and I can’t help but agree with Lorde’s take on how silly and unproductive class distinctions are.
Aside from “Royals,” the album has nine other tracks all of equally good or better caliber. Opening track “Tennis Court” is my favorite. It starts with a lusty, smooth vocal contribution by Lorde juxtaposed against a metallic percussion beat. The combination is edgy, cool and attention grabbing. The song then climbs into a smooth but powerful chorus that rises and then falls back into the development. With lyrics like “Baby be the class clown/ I’ll be the beauty queen in tear/ It’s a new art showing people how little we care (yeah)/ We’re so happy, even when we’re smilin’ out of fear,” there’s a lot more than meets the eye with Lorde. Her lyrics are deep and meaningful, which comes as no surprise considering that she is the daughter of Sonja Yelich, award-winning New Zealand poet.
“Ribs,” another stand out track is slow to start and crescendos and speeds up into a climax that drops away into subdued humming. The effect is stunning. Your attention is immediately grabbed as the music speeds up and gets louder and when the sound drops away, you hardly feel disappointed because it sounds so pleasing.
“Glory and Gore” is a more standardized pop track, but has the ethereal feel of an Of Monsters and Men number. It’s powerful, but so delicate that you don’t want to breathe while it plays.
“World Alone,” the final track of the album, is the most uplifting song on the album. With single melodic guitar chords over a sparse harmony, Lorde’s voice is the highlight of the track. The listener can truly see her vocal abilities in this track as she displays a wide range. The middle of the song speeds up and gets more complex in its harmonies, but quickly falls away to die slowly in a quiet and modest, decrescendo.
Although I only picked my five favorite tracks, the other half of the album is superb. It is heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time and demonstrates an immense talent. I think it’s safe to say that Lorde will soon be joining the ranks of fellow New Zealander Kimbra, Florence and the Machine and Regina Spektor as the most respected female musicians of our generation.